As warm weather approaches, Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises homeowners to be on the lookout for spring home-project scams run by less-than-reputable or unqualified contractors. To help consumers avoid costly mistakes and scams, BBB shares the red flags of a home-project scam.
Whether an air conditioning, pest control, or landscaping need, before saying “yes” to an offer, consider the following red flags of a home-project scam:
- A knock at your door. Keep in mind that someone who attempts to gain business by visiting door-to-door or cold calling may not be with a local, established business, but instead might be passing through trying to make a quick buck. Ask for identification and review company history at bbb.org.
- A high-pressure sales pitch. Scare and high-pressure tactics are often used by scammers to get consumers to make quick decisions. Don’t fall for the common lies such as, “I just treated a neighbor’s house and can give you a special deal, but the deal is only good today,” or, “If you don’t take care of the issue now, it can affect your health and cost you more in the future.”
- A lack of licensing information. Scammers are usually not licensed. Always ask for licensing information and verify it with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors at azroc.org or by calling 602-542-1525.
- A lot of verbal promises. Make sure all verbal promises are included in writing, along with paperwork outlining costs, completion time, and warranty information. Watch out for added fees. Remember, without a written agreement, there is little recourse should issues arise.
- A request for payment upfront in cash. Reputable companies take payment by check, credit card, or cash and offer consumers the ability to pay when the project is complete or incrementally as work progresses. Be sure to ask for a receipt as proof of payment.